If you struggle with a hearing impairment, you may feel that communication can be a challenge. Loud social settings, background noise or fatigue can all make communication more difficult.
Fortunately, sign language can help to plug any communication gaps that may exist.
Can Sign Language Help You Communicate?
For people with a hearing impairment, communication can present unique challenges. Hearing aids can offer an opportunity for improved communication. However, for people who may not benefit from hearing aids, there are other options.
Sign language can help improve communication capabilities. We’re taking a closer look at how.
What Is Sign Language?
In the United States, American Sign Language (ASL) is the predominant sign language for North Americans who are deaf, and one of several communication options for individuals with a hearing impairment.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), it is a complex, complete language that employs signs made by hand movements combined with facial expressions and body posture.
A few things that make ASL different from a spoken language:
- ASL is based on vision being the most useful tool individuals with a hearing loss have to facilitate communication.
- While ASL contains the fundamental features of the English language, it is a distinct and separate language. It has rules for word order, pronunciation and complex grammar.
- Signals that people who speak the English language, such as raising the pitch of your voice to insinuate a question, do not translate into ASL.
- A question in ASL can be communicated by the individual raising their eyebrows, widening their eyes, and tilting their bodies forward.
How Can ASL Help With Communication?
Sign language can help to build communication, or bridge gaps that are caused by impaired hearing. Learning and practicing sign language can help with many aspects of communication, as it can be used across your entire family.
As ASL uses body movements and posture as a key component of the language, users are more adept at interpreting body language. This improved interpretation of body language can help hearing impaired individuals understand subtle nuances in communication, that many of us are unaware we even display.
What are Other Benefits?
There have been a number of studies that demonstrate a link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Keeping your brain sharp helps to mitigate cognitive decline. “Working out” your mind can be achieved through puzzles or brain-teasers, or learning something new.
Learning ASL may not only help you with communication, but also help keep your mind sharp!
Need Help? Contact Us Today!
Interested in learning more? At Regional Hearing & Balance Center, we are committed to improving your quality of life through better hearing. To book an appointment, call Regional Hearing and Balance Center at 208-497-3596 or click here to book a complimentary hearing assessment.